Here is a random thing I wrote just to complete something. Going to try to have a story every sunday, something for a little change of pace from the novel once in a while. Enjoy!
Jason Statham sat in the waiting room at the DOL contemplating the mass murder of the people in front of him in the queue.
He ran his hand through his thinning, scraggly blond hair and clinched his pudgy fists, fogging up his thick, rimless spectacles with his heated breath. His entire Saturday afternoon was going to be wasted sitting behind these rotting carcasses, shuffling forward to get their moldy old faces photographed one last time before they died in a car accident due to driving three miles per hour in the HOV lane. He could be at home right now playing League of Legends, getting the practice he needed in order to pwn those noobs in the tournament next weekend, but no, all those hours of practice would be lost as he was forced to sit here breathing in wafts of disinfectant and piss.
“Seventy three,” a haggard man with drooping eyes and yellow teeth intoned from behind the counter. He deigned to call it out four more times at thirty second intervals before finally moving on to the next number, but before he could clear his throat in preparation for the next leg of his number-calling marathon, a wobbly old woman wrenched herself up out of her pale blue plastic chair and held up a crinkled twig of a finger.
“Seventy three here,” she breathed in a voice like crumbling leaves, and began the long, arduous journey across the pale yellow linoleum floor.
As she hobbled and creaked forward, Jason Statham tried to control his breathing with a zen mantra he’d learned reading Wikipedia one lonely night after an especially stressful argument with his mother about his lack of employment.
“Om mani padme hum,” he said under his breath. “Om mani padme hum, om mani padme hum.” He rocked back and forth and stared at the crumpled scrap of paper in his hands, its edges torn and flimsy from thumb and finger sweat. 76, it said, in bold, proud, black numbers. “Om mani padme hum, om mani padme hum.”
The quivering husk of a woman finally reached her destination, leaning her walking stick against the counter and bracing herself to catch her breath. The haggard man behind the counter stared at her expectantly.
“Oh dear, my number,” she said, looking back to her seat, where the frail, white slip was fluttering to the ground. “I’ll just go get it.”
“Om mani padme hum,” said Jason Statham, standing up to his fully unimposing five feet four inches. “Om mani padme hum.” He strode to the woman’s seat and snatched up the paper, then stalked over to her before she had a chance to take her first shakey step on the journey back across the linoleum wastes. Clutching both paper slips in his shaking hands, he had a moment of lucid ingenuity that he was certain would make his mother proud when he told her later this evening.
“Here!” he said, thrusting his own slip,–numbered seventy-six–into the woman’s frail hands. He then stalked back to his own seat and waited with an expectant and conniving grin on his red-splotched face.
The man plucked the paper from her dusty fingers and looked at it with yellow, seeping eyes. “I’m sorry ma’am,” he said in a voice that did not sound sorry in the least. “You’ll have to wait a few more turns.”
“Oh, oh dear,” said the woman, “I really should have worn my glasses. Oh, oh my I’m sorry everyone.”
Jason Statham suppressed a cackle and fidgeted in his seat, marveling at his own cleverness.
“Is there a seventy three?” tried the man once more.
Jason Statham stood, holding the paper aloft before the rheumy, crusted eyes of the sparse crowd. “Why, seventy three is my number!” he announced. “It is my turn!” He strode confidently to the counter and slapped his ticket to freedom down before the gatekeeper. “I need to renew my license, and I’d like to change it to say-”
“This is number thirty seven,” droned the man, smudged letters on a crooked name-tag spelled ‘Edgar’, or perhaps ‘Edgol’, it was hard to tell. Edgol pushed the paper away with one finger as if it were something rotten. “You’ll need to grab a new one,” he said, pointing toward the red ticket dispenser near the door.
“Om mani padme hum,” said Jason Statham. He glared venomously at the woman he’d traded tickets with as he stalked across the room, but she failed to notice. He tore a ticket from the dispenser. Two curvy nines stared up at him. “Om mani padme hum.”
“Seventy three?” called Edgol again. Chairs creaked and someone released a wet, crackling cough. “Seventy three?”
Jason Statham returned to his seat, his heart pounding and sweat beading above his bushy eyebrows.
“Seventy three?” said Edgol, his hand hovering near the button to flip to the next number.
“Oh, oh,” said a shriveled man to Jason Statham’s left, who appeared to be just waking up. “Oh, oh.” He sat up in his chair and fumbled in the pockets of his sweater-vest. “Oh, oh.” He produced square of paper and held it up close to his eyes, moving it forward and back. “Oh, oh, yes, yes, that’s my number all right, yes, yes.” He heaved himself up out of the seat and wobbled toward Edgol.
“Om mani padme hum,” said Jason Statham rather loudly, causing several nearby grandparents to start awake in their seats. The ninety-nine in his hands burned with uselessness, and he found himself contemplating something he swore he never would do. Something vile and unimaginable, but no thing, no matter how distasteful, could be worse than waiting another hour in this geriatric hell hole.
Jason Statham stood, and walked to the center of the room, holding his hands aloft. “I am Jason Statham, action movie star from Hollywood! You may recognize me from movies such as Transporter 2 and The Italian Job!” Several people shifted in their chairs, murmurs and mumbles bubbling up.
“Oh, my grandson loves those movies,” said a large bespectacled woman.
“Do you know Tom Hanks?” a man demanded, holding up his cane.
“I am here just for today,” continued Jason Statham, “and am willing to offer an autograph and a photo for anyone who will trade me their number!”
“Oh, oh?” The man with the number seventy-three turned around. “Oh? You’re a Hollywood actor?”
“Yes,” said Jason Statham, “and here is my driving license to prove it!” He produced the plastic card from his wallet with a flourish, holding it up for the man to squint at.
“Oh, oh, yes, yes,” said the man. “It says Jason Statham all right. But look here, it’s expired!” A disapproving grumble spread about the onlookers. “You could have just bought this on ebids, or Greg’s list. No, no, I don’t think I’ll be wanting a picture with you, no, no.”
“But, I’m here to get it renewed!” protested Jason Statham, but the crowd had already lost interest, and he was forced to return to his seat and stare at the two nines.
“Om mani padme hum,” he said. His mother would shake her head in disappointment when she heard of this, but he had no choice but to wait his turn, and dream of the end of the day when he’d have a less burdensome surname. Something simple and strong, like ‘Lee’ or ‘Biggs’ or ‘Bateman.’
“Seventy four?” called Edgol, twenty minutes later.